[Haskell-cafe] Optimal line length for haskell

Jason Dusek jason.dusek at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 21:30:39 CET 2012

2012/10/29 MightyByte <mightybyte at gmail.com>:
> "The ideal line length for text layout is based on the physiology of
> the human eye… At normal reading distance the arc of the visual field
> is only a few inches – about the width of a well-designed column of
> text, or about 12 words per line. Research shows that reading slows
> and retention rates fall as line length begins to exceed the ideal
> width, because the reader then needs to use the muscles of the eye and
> neck to track from the end of one line to the beginning of the next
> line. If the eye must traverse great distances on the page, the reader
> is easily lost and must hunt for the beginning of the next line.
> Quantitative studies show that moderate line lengths significantly
> increase the legibility of text."
> Web Style Guide – Basic Design Principles for Creating Website
> Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton
> 2nd edition, page 97.

Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style" offers a
similar dictum:

  Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely regarded as a
  satisfactory length of line for a single-column page set in a
  serifed text face in a text size. The 66-character line
  (counting both letters and spaces) is widely regarded as
  ideal. For multiple column work, a better average is 40 to 50

   -- http://webtypography.net/Rhythm_and_Proportion/Horizontal_Motion/2.1.2/

I have come to accept 80 characters as a limit that is both in
keeping with programming convention and amenable to the good
taste of typographers. Many respectable software projects honor
this limit and to emulate them, in matters small as well as
large, is to simplify our work in many small ways. Art is long
and life is short.

Jason Dusek
pgp // solidsnack // C1EBC57DC55144F35460C8DF1FD4C6C1FED18A2B

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